The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have extended the public comment period on their May 12, 2014, draft policy regarding implementation of section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act. They will now accept comments from all interested parties until October 9, 2014. FWS and NMFS have also extended the comment period for two related proposed regulation amendments. The new comment period for these proposed regulations is also October 9, 2014.

The draft policy addresses exclusions from critical habitat under the Act.  It  provides the Services’ position on how they consider partnerships and conservation plans, conservation plans permitted under section 10 of the ESA, tribal lands, national security and homeland security impacts and military lands, Federal lands, and economic impacts in the exclusion process. The draft policy is meant to complement the amendments to the Services’ regulations regarding impact analyses of critical habitat designations, and it is intended to clarify expectations regarding critical habitat.

Click here for extension of comment deadline on draft policy.

Click here for extension of comment deadline on related proposed regulations.